A Quilt's Story...

Many people do not understand what it takes to make and create a quilt.  They see a quilt and figure less than $100 is appropriately priced for such an object.  When if you break down what it takes to make a quilt....it could cost $1,000.  Quilting needs 100% cotton fabric, which can cost $6 - $15/yard depending on color, pattern, brand, etc.  Thread is at least another $12.  It adds up quickly.  It's an expensive hobby.

Granted, yes, in hard times, quilts were made with whatever garments that were falling apart with the parts of the fabric that were saveable.  However, I doubt many of us have a pile of garments falling apart that are being saved for a wonderful quilt.

The fabrics alone are hand picked by the creater, designer, quilter, or the client who desires the quilt made.  This alone can take months or even years, depending on the quilter...

This quilt's story begins with a 5 year old girl and her mother's desire to give her a Christmas gift that she would keep and use for many, many years.  I had "met" the mother in one of my online mothers groups and she had asked the group if for ideas on such a gift.  I recommended a quilt...the conversation continued and I was the only one who made quilts in the whole group.

She stated she would go and select the fabrics herself because she knew her colors were very precise and she didn't want it to clash with her daughter's bedroom.  I expected her to take a while to find what she was looking for, but she quickly settled on 6 different fabrics.

We came up with a very basic block/varied square quilt pattern in 5" blocks.  The mom sent me the fabrics she had picked from a quilt shop local to her and had them mailed to me.  Once I began cutting the squares, I realized the mom had not sent enough fabric.

It's very important to double check your yardage of fabrics before starting your design.  Why?  Because only a certain amount of each fabric is produced and sent to the store.  Many times, if you run out, you won't be able to find it again ever.  That's why so many sewers/quilters buy fabric they love when they see it...because they may never see it again!  That's like trying your favorite ice cream for the first time and then going back the next week to find out they will never make it again!

I solved the problem by adding a bunch of white fabric...several yards of it, as a matter of fact.  

Once the blocks were cut - 5 1/2 " square blocks to allow for the quarter inch seams - it came time to creating and designing the pattern of the quilt.  I did not want the quilt to look perfectly planned because there was no way I could do that with the amount of the squares from the fabric being different (different yardage/different number of squares).  I did use graph paper to help design the quilt.  I found that if I placed a white square with two in between, I would have enough squares for a full size bed.  

The sewing began...

And continued....and continued...

And continued...

Each row of squares came together and then I sewed the rows together to form the top.  

And finally it was pieced together!  Mind you, this is just the top part of the quilt.  A quilt is like a sandwich.  There are two sides and a middle.  The middle is the delicious part of a sandwich....in a quilt, it's the batting.  Batting is the part that makes the quilt warm and cozy and wonderful.  I used Warm and Natural batting.  So far, it's my favorite batting.  It also gives your quilts a heavy weight to them which adds to the cozy and comfy of a quilt.  

Technically, the first step - is to make the quilt top, which has so many other steps depending on which pattern and fabric you decide on.  

I found I made the quilt 80" x 80"...and I would need what is called a wide-back fabric to go across the back unless I wanted to piece the back fabric together too.  I did not want to do that.  This quilt had already taken up too much time with all the cutting and trying to lay out all the blocks so they same two fabrics wouldn't touch...

A local quilt shop (to our deer camp) called Country Living Quilts in Flynn, Texas carried a solid white wide back fabric that measures 115" across.  This was perfect!  Sure, I'd have extra white, but I used a lot of my stash of solid white to finish this quilt.  As a quilter, I'm hurting for white fabric now.  The owner of the shop, Terry, answered my questions herself and was very knowledgable in her products and her inventory.  She even sent me pictures of what she had to help me know if it would be a worthwhile trip...and it was!  

I purchased 3.25 yards of the solid white wide-back fabric from Country Living Quilts and used this as the backing fabric of the quilt.  

I basted the quilt...meaning I took the white fabric and laid the batting across it, then placed the quilt top on it.  I pinned it together with safety pins to hold it all in place before I trimmed away the excess of the white fabric and batting.  

Once it's basted, you can start quilting!  I selected a neutral thread color and a larger stitch to stand out.  I started in the middle of my quilt and worked out to each of the sides to make sure the fabric didn't pucker or pull. 

Once all of the quilting is completed, it's time for the binding!  The binding is the edge that seals in those edges and finishes your quilt so sweet and perfect.  I selected a soft gray to play off of one of the fabrics that the mother had choosen for daughter.  It is a very small edge.  It doesn't have to be...it's just what I choose for this quilt since the mother wanted the corals, soft pinks, and teals to pop out in this quilt.  

What do you think?  Here's the finished quilt right before we shipped it to the owner.  

How many hours do you think it took me to make this quilt?  

***Comment below your answer to how many hours you believe it took to make this quilt and the winner will be contacted via email to receive a special gift from MyCharmingCabinLife!  
Answer by April 16, 2018 to be entered in the contest.  Must reside in the United States.***

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